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Safety includes front- and side-impact scores as well as scores for belt-routing and stability on the car seat.
Ease of use and ergonomics assesses child comfort and space as well as ease of securing and adjusting the seat within the vehicle, avoiding incorrect use, fastening the buckle, and using the instruction manual.
Harmful substances measures the level of substances (such as phthalates, heavy metals and flame retardants) on seat components that come in contact with the child. Harmful substances only affect the final score if the levels found exceed the test criteria.
Weight range shows the different weights the seat can carry in its different modes. The European standard takes 36kg as the maximum weight for a booster.
Price is the recommended retail price or is from an online retailer.
Convertible rear/forward-facing seats and forward-facing/booster seats can be used in different modes which offer different levels of impact protection. To simplify matters, we’ve given scores for each seat in its weakest mode.
The European tests are carried out by ICRT, the international consumer testing organisation. ICRT puts the seats through front- and side-impact tests at 71 and 28km/h respectively. The seats are also assessed for ease of use and ergonomics. Seat parts that come in contact with the child are screened for substances such as phthalates, heavy metals and flame retardants. The overall score is determined by safety as well as ease of use and ergonomics. The score for harmful substances only affects the overall score if a harmful substance is present above test limits. ICRT rates seats on a five point scale: "poor", "bare minimum", "satisfactory", "good" and "very good".
The Australian tests are performed by the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP). The programme puts the seats through a front-impact test at 56km/h, and side- and oblique-impact tests at 32km/h. Each seat is also assessed for ease of correct use. The Australian test results are freely available on the CREP website. Child seats are rated on a five-point scale: "meets the Australian/New Zealand standard", "average", "above average", "good" and "excellent".
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